Jet Set Racing Stable’s Tomcito, preparing for Saturday’s $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), worked three furlongs out of the gate in :34.60 and galloped out a half-mile in :46.80 with Manfreddy Guzman up Tuesday morning at Keeneland.
The gate drill was designed to get Tomcito into the race earlier, unlike the Florida Derby (gr. I) in which Tomcito raced at the rear of the 12-horse field, according to trainer Dante Zanelli.
“He had worked out of the gate before his grade I win at a mile and a quarter in Peru,” Zanelli said. “He was close to the pace that day and he won by 10 (9 ¾ lengths).”
Tuesday’s work was the second for Tomcito in Kentucky since arriving after his third-place finish in the Florida Derby. Tomcito worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 at Churchill Downs on April 9 as Zanelli wanted to give the son of Street Cry a drill over the track for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Presented by Yum! Brands.
Tomcito has accumulated $151,292 in graded stakes earnings, a figure that would not be among the top 20 of horses being pointed to the Run for the Roses.
“I think even if he finishes third (in the Coolmore Lexington and earns $32,500), I will be all right,” Zanelli said. “I am not worried. I think I have the horse to beat. He is getting better and better and he is not even blowing (after the work).”
Meanwhile, Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who sent out Monba and Cowboy Cal to 1-2 finishes in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), also has a tandem entered in the Lexington -- Atoned and Behindatthebar.
While Atoned, who finished fourth in the Illinois Derby (gr. II), will be making his first career start on a synthetic surface, Behindatthebar already has proven his ability on an artificial track. He has two wins and one second at Santa Anita, where he scored a four-length victory on April 3 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in his most recent start. At Bay Meadows on dirt, the colt finished sixth in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III).
“He particularly liked the track at Santa Anita, so we’ll be interested to see how he handles this one,” Pletcher said about Keeneland’s Polytrack. “He’s trained well over it.”
In other Lexington developments, Samba Rooster worked four furlongs in :47.40 at Keeneland Monday, the third fastest of 36 works at the distance. Samba Rooster is trained by Bob Baffert for the ownership of the Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable and Bernard Schiappa.
Southern Equine Stable’s two-time graded stakes winner Salute the Sarge is scheduled to arrive at Keeneland on Wednesday from his Southern California base. Salute the Sarge is trained by Eric Guillot.